Heading Out to Sea

Gould, FL

Last January, while exploring Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California, we met Howard and Linda of RV-Dreams.  We had been following their blog and when we saw they were in the area, we took the opportunity to meet them.  They ended up moving near us in the state park campground, and we enjoyed a few hikes in the desert and some great sunsets at Fond’s Point.  The morning of their departure Linda told us that, as part of a birthday milestone celebration, they were organizing a ten day cruise leaving the first of December out of Miami .  When we expressed concern about parking the motorhome somewhere, Linda informed us that they were going to park their rig at the home of a friend of theirs south of Miami.  Their friend, also named Linda, also has a motorhome and a large yard where there were electrical connections for two rigs, so we could park there during the trip and have electricity to maintain our refrigerator (and batteries).  Since we had never been on a cruise and are always up for a new adventure, we decided to join their group.

On Friday, November 29th we met up with Howard and Linda south of Orlando and followed them south to friend Linda’s place.  Instead of the fast paced ride down the Florida Turnpike, we took US-441 around Lake Okeechobee, then turned on to US-27 to Linda’s house south of Miami.  Howard and Linda had been to friend Linda’s before and we were glad to be following them, as it is a bit tricky to find her property.  But we arrived without difficulty and Linda was even there waiting to help guide us through the gate into her property.

Friend Linda’s RV Resort!

We quickly settled in to our spots, then enjoyed a great meal prepared by friend Linda’s daughter, Laura.

Laura, her husband Dean, Howard, Linda, Friend Linda, John

We spent Saturday doing some last minute shopping and packing for the cruise.  Pam did most of the packing but John provided some outstanding support and advice!  Proper supervision is critical to this type of activity.

Sunday was departure day and we wanted to be at the port early for a noon boarding. Howard had researched some parking facilities near the port, but had difficulty finding a place where we would feel safe leaving a vehicle.  That’s when Friend Linda stepped up and volunteered to drive our Jeep to the port and drop us off, then pick us up when the ship returned.  We really appreciated this as it made the task of getting to the ship and back very easy.

Upon arrival at the Port of Miami we quickly checked our luggage in with the ship staff and headed into the terminal.  After checking ourselves in and getting our ship ID card we headed to the waiting area until boarding was permitted.

Howard and Linda patiently await boarding

When we arrived in the waiting area it was basically empty.  Soon we were joined by a few hundred of our fellow cruisers.

That lady in the lower left sure looks anxious to board the ship

We were able to board the ship a bit after noon, but found our state rooms would not be ready for a couple hours.  So we did what experienced cruisers do in this type of situation, we headed for the lunch buffet!  Once the rooms were available, we headed out on our balcony to check out the view.

It turns out this cruising stuff is not that difficult!

Miami Skyline

Our empty parking space as we get under way

Heading Out to Sea (Miami Beach skyline is on the left)

The first two days of the cruise are called Sea Days, as we move south headed for our first stop at St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.  For us these days are the most boring part of the cruise.  The crew has an extensive list of activities, but most are things like bingo, art auctions, and time in the smoke-filled casino. Many people were enjoying the time to relax in the sun by the pool, but since we had just spent two weeks in Myrtle Beach doing the same thing, this wasn’t very exciting for us.

First Day Sunrise from our Balcony

Same Sunrise from the Observation Deck

But we managed to survive and will share pictures of some of our shore adventures in our next blog.

More on that later . . .

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16 Responses to Heading Out to Sea

  1. Sue says:

    Try to contain your excitement John!

  2. Janna says:

    We will look forward to seeing all those photos! I’ve been on one cruise, the cowboy has not–thought I might someday get him to go on an Alaskan cruise.

  3. Dave says:

    Glad you had a great time. Have nearly finished reading all of Howard’s blogs about the cruise. I did a cruise once, and Marcia had done a cruise once, and I “think” that will be it for cruises for us, although “I” would be open to a cruise to Alaska sometime in the future. My mom did that cruise and she said it is a different type of clientele and the views are spectacular. So maybe…. –Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  4. Gat Taylor says:

    That’s an experience we will probably never get to experience…hard to load 4 pups on a cruise ship! Looking forward to your pictures.

  5. Ingrid says:

    Totally agree with the ‘out to sea’ days. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the tale 🙂

  6. We’ve never done a cruise but I know we wouldn’t care for the “Sea Days”, either. We also might consider an Alaskan cruise.
    Look forward to seeing where you stopped.

  7. colibabas says:

    Welcome back!
    We have never done a cruise but would like to. My sister and brother in law have been on about a dozen. I keep telling them that they must of won the lottery and aren’t sharing with the family. 🙂 We look forward to your take on it as newbies.

    Safe travels!

  8. Pam: Good first install on your crusin experience. We never have been on one either…. Will wait for installment #2

    Maynard

  9. pam says:

    Having never been on a cruise before either, we are anxious to hear your thoughts. I am surprised smoking is allowed–that is a HUGE turnoff for us Oregonians. :>)

    Stsying tuned for Part II.

  10. Waiting for the rest of the story….and pics.

  11. Paul Weaver says:

    Tough life but somebody has to do it! Where are the pictures of all the beautiful ladies in their bikinis?

  12. Erin says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your days at sea. When we first started cruising, ports were the most important thing for us, but it didn’t take long for us to start loving the sea days, so we often look for a balance between the two. We rarely participate in any of the activities on sea days. Rather we spend the days reading, writing blog posts, processing photos and videos, etc. on our balcony … often, we pick up breakfast and lunch and eat on the veranda. If there are interesting lectures, we’ll go to those as well. It seems that for us the days at sea pass by in the blink of an eye … our recent TransAtlantic had seven days at sea, and it seemed more like two days. I find that the only time I can sit still on vacation for any length of time is when we’re on a ship — my theory is that because the ship is moving, I feel like I am actively moving too 😉 At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it 😉

    • placestheygo says:

      I think, Erin, that our problem with the sea days was the fact that we have been retired for three and a half years and we do plenty of relaxing. If we were still in the north and working, the cruise would have had a whole different effect I am sure. But we are so glad we had the experience:)

  13. Esther says:

    Hi Pam, I think if you guys had been with us on our excursions you might have enjoyed the sea days more! After 5 ports with 6:30am mornings to catch the transportation shuttles, I was ready for some R & R! I don’t think any of us moved very far from our deck chairs on those last two sea days 🙂

  14. pmbweaver says:

    Of course I read the second blog first. Duh!

    Yeah…looks like you two really had had a tuff life on that ship. Someone waiting on you 24/7 must have gotten very boring! I think I might like to experience that for about a year and see how I like it.

    With all that food, how did your diet work out…hehe. I would have to lose 5 pounds before I went on that trip.

    Hope all is well now that you are on dry ground. Welcome back to reality.

  15. LuAnn says:

    We have never been on a cruise so I am looking forward to your future posts. I think the ‘sea days’ is a big reason we have never thought cruising would be for us. Hope you too have a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

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